We are in love with Wandering Jew plants not only because they are fast growers, but because of their incredible colourful leaves that make them stand out in a room full of green. Luckily for plant parents, Wandering Jew plants are also one of the easiest houseplants we have ever propagated so you shouldn’t have too many issues.
In this post, we will guide you through the whole process of propagating your Wandering Jew plant, from the tools and equipment needed, to a detailed step by step method and how to solve common problems.
Why might you need or want to propagate a Wandering Jew plant?
There are several reasons why plant parents might choose to or be forced to propagate their Wandering Jew plant. Firstly, what better way to get more houseplants for free!! Cuttings also make great gifts for friends and family, especially if they aren’t able to get hold of one of their own.
The other reason why many plant parents choose to propagate their Wandering Jew plant is that their plant is either too long or becoming very leggy. As the vines grow out, they can often become quite straggly and sparse, it’s normal and nothing to worry about. But to help your Wandering Jew become bushier you can prune them back and propagate the cuttings.
You might also be forced to propagate your Wandering Jew if it’s starting to die. We always recommend plant parents figure out what the issue is before giving up on the plant, but if things aren’t getting any better you might want to take cuttings from the healthy parts of the plant.
Tools and equipment you will need to propagate a Wandering Jew Plant
Let’s start off with the easy part. It’s important to make sure you have all the things you need before taking that first cutting.
Healthy and mature Wandering Jew plant
Clean, sharp scissors/shears
Spare pot(s) with and without drainage holes
Fresh soil and water
Newspaper or plastic sheet if you’re propagating indoors
What methods can I use to propagate my Wandering Jew plant?
The main method of propagation for Wandering Jew plants is through stem cuttings. Although you can also do it through division of the mother plant, there really is not much point as stem cuttings is such a simple and successful method.
Below you’ll find a step by step method of how to propagate your Wandering Jew plant through stem cuttings.
How to propagate a Wandering Jew using stem cuttings
This is the main method of propagating Wandering Jew plants as it’s suitable for all maturities and lengths. Using this method you can also create several new Wandering Jew plants by just taking one cutting.
Locate a healthy stem
When choosing a stem to propagate you need to make sure that the part of the plant you’re cutting is healthy to give you any chance of success. Avoid any sign of disease or pests as they will be transferred onto your new cuttings and will normally mean your propagation won’t work.
Ideally, you want to locate a stem that has several healthy nodes and leaves. A node is the joint in the stem where the leaves grow out from. This is also where the roots will grow from once in water.
Make the cut(s)
You want to use clean scissors to cut the stem of your Wandering Jew plant. Make sure to include several nodes in each section of cutting as it’ll mean root growth will be much quicker. How many cuttings you take, and exactly how long each one is, is entirely up to you!
Fill up a container with fresh temperature water
Next, you want to fill up a glass with fresh water to place your Wandering Jew cuttings into. Avoid hot or cold water as you don’t want to shock or burn the cuttings as they are quite sensitive having just been removed from the mother plant. We like to use a transparent container so we can see the roots growing and it allows us to spot any issues early.
Place your cuttings in water
Make sure that the nodes on your Wandering Jew stem cutting are sat in the water so that the roots will start to grow out from them. Remove any lower leaves that might be sat in the water as they will very quickly rot. Place your glass in bright but indirect sunlight making sure it doesn’t receive any direct sunlight which can burn the young cutting.
Change out the water regularly
One of the most important steps in the Wandering Jew propagation process is to switch out the water in your glass every couple of days. This keeps the water free from bacteria and stops it from stagnating which is harmful to your cutting.
Luckily, you don’t have to be too patient with Wandering Jew cuttings as they grow roots sometimes within a day or two of being in the water. Soon enough you’ll see a real web of small delicate white roots shoot out from your cutting.
Plant your cuttings into potting mix
Once the roots on your Wandering Jew cutting are a few inches long, it’s time to pot them into soil! We recommend using a high-quality potting mix to make sure your cuttings are getting enough nutrients. Carefully place your cuttings a few centimetres into the soil, making sure not to damage the newly formed roots as they can be quite delicate.
Resume usual Wandering Jew care
For the first few weeks of your cuttings living in potting mix, we recommend keeping the soil a little more moist than you usually would as the cuttings are used to living in water. After a few weeks, you can go back to usual Wandering Jew care and soon those cuttings will be long enough to propagate again!
Wandering Jew Propagation Frequently Asked Questions
When’s the best time of year to propagate my Wandering Jew plant?
The best time to propagate your Wandering Jew plant is during spring and summer as the warm sunny months will help speed up root growth. However, as roots grow so quickly you can often have success propagating at other points in the year too. LED grow lights and heat pads can help you if the environment isn’t ideal.
Can I use a rooting gel when propagating my Wandering Jew?
Whilst it is not essential, you might choose to use rooting hormone to increase your chances of successful propagation. These products stimulate root growth on new cuttings, not only speeding up the process but also producing stronger roots.
As you are growing your Wandering Jew cuttings in water, you can only use gel or liquid types of rotting hormone. Powder can be used with more mature plants when growing them directly in potting mix.
Can I use a grow light for my Wandering Jew propagation?
Grow lights are great to use when propagating your Wandering Jew in medium and low light levels. They will prevent issues such as leggy and stagnant growth throughout the year, on new cuttings as well as mature houseplants, making them a great investment for plant parents.
What is a node?
It’s important that you are able to identify the different parts of the plant so you know where to make the cuts on your Wandering Jew plant. A node is where the stem and leaf joints meet. It’s also where the roots will grow from when in water.
Is it possible to propagate a Wandering Jew plant from a single leaf?
Unfortunately, as with most houseplants, it’s not possible to propagate a Wandering Jew plant from just one single leaf. If attempted, it will wilt and die pretty quickly.
When can I fertilise my Wandering Jew cuttings?
Fertilisation is one thing you should really stay away from for at least a year when propagating a Wandering Jew plant. It can cause a range of issues including stagnant growth and yellow leaves if you fertilise too early.
Common problems when propagating a Wandering Jew plant
Although propagating Wandering Jew plants is a lot simpler than some other houseplants, it doesn’t mean that it won’t come with issues of its own. But don’t worry, below we have all the main problems you may face when propagating your Wandering Jew so you can figure out what is causing these problems to arise and hopefully solve them before it kills your plant cuttings.
Help, my Wandering Jew plant cutting isn’t growing any roots!
You should start to see roots growing on your Wandering Jew plant after just a few days/ one week. They are one of the quickest plants to grow roots but it can still be quite unpredictable so as long as your cutting looks healthy, be patient and you should start to see some roots growing soon.
If after a couple of weeks, there are still no roots you should assess the environment to decide if you need to use rooting gel, an LED grow light or heat pad to encourage some roots to grow.
What’s causing my Wandering Jew cutting to go soft?
If your cutting has gone soft then unfortunately this isn’t a good sign at all. It’s usually caused by your cutting rotting in stagnant water. Unfortunately, it’s irreversible so cut off the soft parts of the cutting and see if there is enough left to carry on the propagation. In future, make sure to switch out the water regularly to avoid bacteria building up.
Why are the new leaves on my Wandering Jew cutting much smaller?
Great news that your Wandering Jew cutting is growing new leaves! Don’t worry at all if they are smaller than that of the mother plant, it’s normal and is just caused by the root system being much smaller which means it can’t support the same level of growth. Give it time and slowly the new leaves will start to get bigger.
Why are the leaves on my Wandering Jew cutting turning yellow?
Yellow leaves on Wandering Jew plants is caused by watering issues, either too much or too little. The best way to determine which is by inspecting the root system to see if it’s dry or mushy.
If your cutting is turning yellow whilst in water then it may be caused by stagnant water or too much of the cutting being submerged.
Hopefully this guide to Wandering Jew propagation has been useful. Whilst you can also propagate through division, stem cuttings is the best method and the only one we recommend as it couldn’t be simpler. Now that you are equipped with the right method, care instructions and top tips, your Wandering Jew propagation should go off without a hitch!
Check out our full Wandering Jew care guide to find all the information on how to continue to care for your cuttings once they have matured.